Introduced in 2011 as a spiritual successor to the Tiburon coupe, the Veloster quickly made a name for itself as a budget compact coupe with hatchback practicality. But although it had distinctive styling and efficient engines, and came with lots of features for the money, it was criticized for its underpowered base engine, limited rear-seat access, and harsh ride. After four years on the market, the first-generation Veloster finally received its mid-cycle update. Set to arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year, the facelifted hatchback is far from being a significant improvement over the 2015 car.

In fact, the updates are rather disappointing for a vehicle that’s been around for four years. Sure, it’s not like Hyundai has set any benchmarks with its past facelifts, but remaining competitive in a segment that also includes the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus requires more than just a few nips and tucks. Keep reading to find out what’s new on the 2016 Veloster and how it stacks up against its most important rivals.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Veloster

  • 2016 Hyundai Veloster
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    138 @ 6300
  • MPG(Cty):
    27
  • MPG(Hwy):
    35
  • Torque @ RPM:
    123 @ 4850
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    133 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    18000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Exterior
- image 617163

Much like the Turbo model, the standard Veloster received a mild visual update. Modifications include a revised hood without the previous model’s faux vents, and a slightly larger front grille with a dark-gray surround. The standard 17-inch wheels now have a new design, while the available 18-inch wheels come wrapped in 10 mm wider tires. The remaining exterior features are unaltered, including the "Fluidic Sculpture" styling that debuted back in 2012. The good news here is that the Veloster kept its unique exterior appearance, making it a solid choice for hatchback customers who want to stand out.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 104.3 Inches
Overall length 166.1 Inches
Overall width 70.5 Inches
Overall height 17-inch: 55.1 Inches
18-inch: 55.3 Inches
Tread width 17-inch: 61.5/62.0 Inches
18-inch: 60.9/61.4 Inches
Overhang 32.7/29.1
Minimum Ground Clearance 17-inch: 5.6
18-inch: 5.9
Coefficient of Drag 0.32

Interior

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Interior
- image 617165

Aside from the optional black seats with yellow accents and the tech upgrades, the interior of Veloster remained unchanged. New features include a revised infotainment system with a 7-inch color touchscreen, Apple Siri Eyes Free, HD Radio, and SiriusXM with Travel Link. It’s not much, but I’ve seen less exciting facelifts coming from Toyota or BMW.

Customers will also benefit from Hyundai’s next-generation Blue Link system with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. New or updated features and services include remote start, Google destination search, remote door lock/unlock and stolen vehicle recovery. Blue Link comes standard with one year of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care, which provides automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, and monthly vehicle health reporting and maintenance alerts. Granted, the Veloster is well-equipped in this department.

Interior Dimensions

Head room w/o sunroof
Front 39.0 Inches
Rear 35.3 Inches
Head room w/ panoramic sunroof
Front 37.2 Inches
Rear 35.3 Inches
Leg room
Front 43.9 Inches
Rear 31.7 Inches
Shoulder room
Front 55.6 Inches
Rear 54.0 Inches
Hip room
Front 53.2 Inches
Rear 52.6 Inches

Drivetrain

As expected, the base Veloster’s naturally aspirated, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine remains unchanged. The four-pot cranks out 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque when mated to the six-speed manual transmission, and 132 ponies and 120 pound-feet when equipped with the EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. Expect the non-turbo Veloster to need more than eight seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, and return up to 36 mpg.

Specifically, the 2016 hatch should delivers 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 28 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined with the automatic.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Gamma DOHC D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) GDI (Gasoline Direct Engine)
Materials Aluminum block and head
Displacement 1.6L / 1,591 cc
Horsepower (est.) 138 HP @ 6,300 RPM (M/T)
132 HP @ 6,300 RPM (DCT)
Torque (est.) 123 LB-FT @ 4,850 RPM (M/T)
120 LB-FT @ 4,850 RPM (DCT)
Valves per cylinder 4
Bore & stroke 77.0 X 85.4 (mm)
Compression Ratio 11.0:1
Transmission 6-speed manual transmission/6-speed EcoShift™ dual clutch automatic
Fuel economy 6-speed manual: 27 mpg/35 mpg/30 mpg
6-speed DCT 28 mpg/36 mpg/31 mpg

Prices

2016 Hyundai Veloster Interior
- image 617167

Given the hatchback received only mild updates for 2016, Hyundai should apply only a light inflationary price increase to the Veloster’s 2015 sticker. I expect the base price to jump from $18,000 to around $18,500.

Competition

Scion tC

2011 Scion tC High Resolution Exterior
- image 355856

Yes, I know, the tC is a compact coupe and not a hatchback, but it is one of the vehicles Hyundai used as a benchmark for the Veloster. Although the Koreans brag about the Veloster being no fewer than 403 pounds lighter than the Scion, the latter is still the quicker of the two, despite being powered by Toyota’s old 2AR-FE engine. The four-banger displaces 2.5 liters, churns 179 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, and takes the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission and 7.7 ticks with the six-speed automatic.

Upgraded for 2014, the tC received plusher materials for the interior, a standard Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen, and a new audio system that features Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio, and steering-wheel-mounted controls. That might not sound very exciting, but keep in mind that this compact coupe is still considered a value-oriented car. Even so, it fetches nearly $2,000 more than the Veloster, at $19,980.

Volkswagen Golf

2015 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
- image 571657

No hatchback comparison is complete without the Volkswagen Golf, arguably the most important nameplate in this segment. The U.S.-spec Golf is brand-new for 2015, featuring a revised exterior and a more modern cabin that also offers enhanced legroom, shoulder room, and cargo space. Standard features include a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, MDI, rear passenger heat, cruise control, and an anti-theft alarm system.

In the drivetrain department, the Golf gets a pair of turbocharged four-bangers using gasoline and diesel, respectively. The former is a 1.8-liter that cranks out 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, while the diesel is 2.0-liter unit that makes 150 ponies and 236 pound-feet of torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions are available, with an optional DSG for the diesel. Both engines return superior fuel economy compared to the Veloster, being rated at 37 and 45 mpg highway, respectively. Priced from $17,995, the gasoline Golf is on par with the Hyundai as far as stickers go.

Conclusion

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Exterior
- image 617169

The slick-looking Veloster remains appealing to sporty-minded buyers on a limited budget, despite the lack of significant upgrades inside and out. The unique appearance, the multimedia setup, and the number of standard features make the base Veloster a reasonable deal. It does have its flaws, however. Its price is too close to the more-powerful and fuel-efficient Golf, while the lack of a five-door configuration might be a turn-off for drivers who carry rear-seat passengers on a regular basis. That said, unless you’re shopping on budget alone, there are better choices out there.

  • Leave it
    • * Priced too close to the Volkswagen Golf
    • * No engine upgrades

Press Release

Hyundai unveiled a new Rally Edition, coupled with significant design, dynamic and connectivity enhancements to its Veloster coupe at the Chicago Auto Show today. The Veloster Rally Edition builds upon Veloster Turbo R-Spec enthusiast credentials, with a more performance-focused suspension, RAYS® lightweight wheels with wide 225/40R18 tires, carbon-fiber-look aero accents, unique badging and floor mats. The Rally Edition is a limited production run planned for 1,200 units, all in a stunning Matte Blue paint, guaranteeing exclusivity to its enthusiast owners. 2016 Veloster will be available at dealers in May 2015.

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Exterior
- image 617163

In addition, the 2016 Veloster Turbo model now offers a performance-oriented 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), a new machined-finish turbo-exclusive wheel design, a sportier seat design, enhanced electroluminescent gauge cluster and black headliner. The Veloster non-turbo receives a new 17-inch wheel design and available black seats with yellow accents.

Also for 2016, all Veloster models offer a revised hood appearance without vent accents, a dark gray grille surround, 10mm-wider tires fitted to all 18-inch wheels, and new audio/navigation system functions (HD Radio®, Apple Siri®, and next-generation Blue Link®).

All Veloster and Veloster Turbo models feature cutting-edge powertrain technologies like direct injection, optimizing their appeal to youthful customers by combining excellent fuel economy, spirited performance and low emissions without compromise.

SPORT BIKE TUNER INSPIRATION
In profile, the Veloster features “Fluidic Sculpture” character lines, muscular wheel arches, bodycolor door handles and mirrors, and wraparound headlights and taillights. Veloster’s dynamic rear design has a distinctive glass hatch and dual center-fascia chrome exhaust tips that complement the assertive front fascia.

On the Turbo, the Veloster offers two distinctive, free-flowing round exhaust tips. Further, all Turbo models feature Active Sound Design, providing richer in-cabin powertrain sound character for an even more involving driving experience, especially during spirited driving.

From the bigger, bolder hexagonal front grille, ground effects, rear bumper fascia, and prominent diffuser vents, Veloster Turbo’s design adds aggression and aerodynamic stability compared with the base model. A new set of machined-finish 18-inch alloy wheels with argent spoke bevels add sophistication and sportiness to the side profile. From the front, Veloster Turbo reveals eight individual headlight LED accents, a feature typical on more expensive models.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Interior
- image 617164

Inside Veloster Turbo, leather seating surfaces with Turbo embroidering on the side bolsters help deliver a distinctive appearance while providing higher levels of comfort and support. For 2016, orange-accented seat bolsters are available with Ultra Black and Vitamin C exterior colors on the turbo model, and the turbo-exclusive electroluminescent gauge cluster has been enhanced, offering the driver information in a larger, clearer and more interactive format, with a larger TFT screen located between the tachometer and speedometer. Heated front seats are also standard on the Turbo version.

GAMMA 1.6-LITER DIRECT-INJECTED ENGINE
The Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the smallest Hyundai engine to use direct injection. This technology helps deliver more power, superior efficiency, lower emissions and higher reliability.

With direct-injection, the Gamma 1.6-liter engine with manual transmission delivers a peak output of 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 123 lb.-ft. at 4,850 rpm. The Gamma engine with dual-clutch transmission delivers 132 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 120 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Gamma also features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, a roller timing chain, variable induction and innovative anti-friction coatings.

VELOSTER TRANSMISSIONS
Hyundai’s commitment to making the Gamma engine extremely fuel efficient continues by pairing it with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission (DCT) developed by Hyundai.

Hyundai’s EcoShift DCT takes the benefits of a manual transmission, including low fuel consumption, and blends them with automatic transmission benefits, such as high comfort levels and smooth shift quality. In addition, the EcoShift DCT enables direct connection for high efficiency and uninterrupted torque transfer during shifts.

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Interior
- image 617165

This powertrain also has an Active ECO mode which modifies engine and transmission control for improved fuel economy. The EcoShift DCT also incorporates Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC). HAC is designed to minimize rolling backwards on steep ascents.

Veloster Turbo is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a new for 2016 seven-speed dual clutch (DCT) automatic transmission. Both transmissions were developed in-house by Hyundai. The new Veloster Turbo seven-speed automatic transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters and SHIFTRONIC® transmission gear control, and is more performance-tuned in comparison with the non-turbo model’s DCT. This transmission was specifically engineered to handle the increased torque output from the turbocharged engine. The non-turbo Veloster’s EcoShift DCT was tuned especially for fuel efficiency rather than the higher torque and performance calibration of the Veloster Turbo seven-speed DCT.

TURBO R-SPEC MODEL
The heart of the Turbo R-Spec is the responsive, 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged engine, along with unique design cues and enhanced chassis tuning. Sport suspension and steering settings have been retuned for optimum responsiveness, with higher spring rates and a more rigid transmission mount. The Turbo R-Spec offers a 6-speed manual transmission with short-throw B&M Racing® Sport Shifter for a tighter, more direct shift feel.

New for 2016, the seat belts for the Turbo R-Spec are now red, reflecting the model’s performance intent. Inside, red leatherette bolsters with red/black cloth insert sport seats complement special embroidered-logo R-Spec floor mats for a sporty ambience. On the exterior, R-Spec badging adorns the rear hatch. Veloster Turbo R-Spec is available in three exterior colors: Elite White, Ultra Black and Pacific Blue.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Interior
- image 617166

VELOSTER TURBO PERFORMANCE
The 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,750 rpm. Veloster Turbo models feature Active Sound Design, which enhances intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin for an even more involving driving experience. Turbo models generate 201 horsepower on regular fuel, which represents a best-in-class specific output of 125.6 horsepower per liter.

TURBO MODEL EXCLUSIVE: TORQUE VECTORING CONTROLAutomatic word wrap
All Veloster Turbo models offer Torque Vectoring Control (TVC). This active cornering feature, utilizing capabilities from the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems, allows Veloster Turbo to improve dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving. TVC uses wheel speed sensors coupled with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during spirited cornering. This active braking redirects power to the outside front wheel in the turn, reducing wheelspin for enhanced cornering grip and corner-exit acceleration. Overall, this provides Veloster Turbo drivers with an incremental margin of cornering precision during enthusiastic driving.

Veloster Turbo also features a quicker-ratio steering rack and a revised steering calibration to match, which gives drivers precise cornering, feedback and control. For 2016, the 18-inch alloy wheel tire width has been increased by 10mm, fitted with Kumho Solus 225/40R18 tires, designed to extract maximum performance without compromising ride.

Veloster’s compelling combination of performance with efficiency is a formula many industry competitors are seeking to duplicate. Hyundai’s development focus on all the factors of efficient performance, such as direct-injection, small-displacement turbocharged engines, six-speed and dual-clutch transmissions, comprehensive light-weighting, efficient aerodynamics, and reduction of parasitic engine losses through electric-powered ancillaries, have combined to yield simultaneous benefits in performance and efficiency to the consumer.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Interior
- image 617167

SPORT-TUNED DYNAMICS
Veloster and Veloster Turbo are fitted with a McPherson strut front suspension, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a 23-mm diameter front stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is a light-weight V-torsion beam, with an integrated 24-mm stabilizer bar to allow bracing of the arms for greater rigidity and to further control body roll. The rear suspension also uses monotube shock absorbers for ride comfort with control.

Veloster features electric power steering that adjusts assistance to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. Veloster’s turning diameter of 34.1 feet is better than Mini’s 35.4 feet, Civic Si’s 37.1 feet, VW GTI’s 35.8 feet, VW Beetle Turbo’s 35.4 feet, and Fiat Abarth’s 37.6 feet.

OVERALL DIMENSIONS
The Veloster rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 166.1 inches and width of 70.5 inches. The Veloster Turbo has the same a 104.3-inch wheelbase, but is 1.2 inches longer (167.3 inches) and 0.6 inches wider (71.1 inches).

WORLD-CLASS WEIGHT EFFICIENCY
World-class weight efficiency is a program target for all Hyundai models. This strategy delivers outstanding fuel economy and performance simultaneously. At just 2,679 pounds, the Veloster base model is 403 pounds lighter than the Scion tC. Further, at just 2,877 pounds, Veloster Turbo is 125 pounds lighter than the Honda Civic Si Coupe and 95 pounds lighter than the Volkswagen GTI. This priority on weight efficiency allows the Veloster Turbo to deliver a great combination of agility, performance, and fuel efficiency.

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Exterior
- image 617168

ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY
All Velosters feature a rearview camera fitted to all models for superior parking visibility. Velosters have an exceptional level of standard safety features for the sporty coupe segment highlighted by a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which optimally manages ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS).

VSM works to control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other) and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist to counter this force. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides counter steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering

All Velosters feature six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags. Velosters also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on vehicle loading conditions.

2016 Hyundai Veloster High Resolution Exterior
- image 617169

ENHANCED AUDIO/NAVIGATION SYSTEM CONNECTIVITY

Customers expect to be connected to their electronics at all times, so Veloster comes standard with a multifunction seven-inch touchscreen display. At engine start-up, the screen comes to life with a Veloster image and a unique sound. There are even three interface layouts users can choose from to suit their personal taste.

For 2016, Veloster audio/navigation systems have also been enhanced with the following capabilities and improvements:

Multi-touch screen with menu swipe function
HD Radio® capability
“Eyes Free” Apple Siri® integration for iPhone
Advanced SiriusXM® functions, including Travel Link (90-day trial)
On-board music and app storage (Jukebox 6GB and Apps 4GB)
Navigation map and music split-screen display function
Navigation map with enhanced junction-view lane guidance

A Bluetooth® hands-free phone system with voice recognition, address book download and audio streaming is standard and onboard navigation is optional. The system also integrates a rearview camera.

Pandora® internet radio is integrated into all Velosters. The display screen has a Pandora icon to stream internet radio from an iPhone® or Android®. Pandora can also be viewed on the display screen and songs can be given the familiar Pandora thumbs up or thumbs down.

With video games being an important element of entertainment, Hyundai integrated an RCA cable and an available 115-volt power outlet in Veloster to support gaming consoles for ultimate gaming sessions or to watch videos on the seven-inch multimedia touchscreen when the vehicle is parked.

Veloster Turbo features a standard 450-watt Dimension Premium Audio system with eight speakers including an eight-inch subwoofer, external amplifier and iPod®/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A SiriusXM® Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and Data services, such as NavWeather®, Stock Ticker and Sports Ticker. For 2016, SiriusXM Travel Link® has been added, with a 90-day trial period.

CONNECTED CARE AND HYUNDAI BLUE LINK®

The 2016 Veloster offers the next-generation of Hyundai Blue Link®, with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like remote start, destination search powered by Google®, remote door lock/unlock and stolen vehicle recovery. In addition to these features and services, Veloster models equipped with Blue Link come standard with one year of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care. Connected Care is a suite of safety and car care features providing Hyundai owners with free proactive services including automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, monthly vehicle health reporting and maintenance alerts.

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